Cypripedium fargesii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Orchidales Orchidaceae

Scientific Name: Cypripedium fargesii Franch.
Common Name(s):
English Farges' Cypripedium
Cypripedium ebracteatum Rolfe
Cypripedium margaritaceum Franch. ssp. fargesii (Franch.) Eccarius
Cypripedium margaritaceum Franch. var. fargesii (Franch.) Pfitzer

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(ii,iii,v); C2a(i); D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-08-28
Assessor(s): Rankou, H.
Reviewer(s): Fay, M.

Cypripedium fargesii is very rare and very local with a scattered and restricted distribution in south Gansu, west Sichuan, west Hubei and north Chong, China.

The trend of the population is decreasing, the species often forming very small colonies, the abundance of the species has been significantly reduced during the recent decades due to many threats especially collection, trampling, weak recovery, ecological disturbance, deforestation, tourism, exploitation for horticultural and infrastructure development. The estimated area of occupancy of the species is only 100 km2, the number of mature individuals is believed to be less than 250, with an estimated continuing decline in the number of mature individuals and the quality of habitats in all four locations. The species is therefore assessed as Endangered (EN).

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Cypripedium fargesii is endemic to China. The species is confined to south Gansu, west Sichuan, west Hubei and north Chongping, China.

The species can be found between 1,900 and 3,200 m altitude.

The extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated at 156,000 km² and the area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated at 250 km².

Sources: Cribb 1997, Cribb and Sandison, 1998, Cribb 2005, efloras 2008, eMonocot 2013, Frosch and Cribb 2012, Prerner 2002, Ren et al. 2012, and Singchi et al. 2012.

Countries occurrence:
China (Chongqing, Gansu, Hubei, Sichuan)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:100Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:120000
Number of Locations:4
Lower elevation limit (metres):1900
Upper elevation limit (metres):3200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


Cypripedium fargesii is a very rare, uncommon and very local slipper orchid species with a very restricted distribution, which can occur as solitary plants or in small groups, the abundance of the species has been significantly reduced in recent decades, the population density is low and the trend of the population is decreasing. However, as far as population is concerned no precise count has ever been made but the number of mature individuals is believed to be under 250 with an extreme fluctuations and the species often forms more or less loose groups and very small colonies.

Sources: Cribb 1997, Cribb and Sandison, 1998, Cribb 2005, efloras 2008, eMonocot 2013, Frosch and Cribb 2012, Prerner 2002, Ren et al., 2012, and Singchi et al. 2012.

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:249Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
No. of subpopulations:2
All individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Cypripedium fargesii occurs in a variety of habitats from limestone travertine banks, thickets, open wooded slopes, light open woods, sparse woods and grassy slopes. It prefers  shaded to part shaded habitats, moist well-drained soils, mossy places in humus rich or rocky organic soils, from acid to alkaline soils. The species flowers in May to July. 

Sources: Cribb 1997, Cribb and Sandison, 1998, Cribb 2005, efloras 2008, eMonocot 2013, Frosch and Cribb 2012, Prerner 2002, Ren et al. 2012, and Singchi et al. 2012.

Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

Cypripedium fargesii is an ornamental plant used for horticulture.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Cypripedium fargesii is sensitive to the environment and is typically associated with a specific set of habitat conditions, such as rocky high altitude, nutrient availability, mossy places and shade.

Cypripedium fargesii is native only to high mountain habitat and it is easily damaged by early frosts in the spring. The species is under numerous anthropogenic threats including the exploitation for horticultural purposes, ruthless collection, trampling,  weak recovery, regional and international trade,  ecological disturbance, degradation of the habitat due mainly to tourism, leisure activities, urbanization, infrastructure development, management activities, recreation activities by direct effect (e.g., destruction of plants) and indirect effect (e.g., alteration of habitat).

Cypripedium fargesii is threatened more generally by climate change, drought, deforestation, random cutting and soil erosion.

Sources: Cribb 1997, Cribb and Sandison, 1998, Cribb 2005, efloras 2008, eMonocot 2013, Frosch and Cribb 2012, Prerner 2002, Ren et al. 2012, and Singchi et al. 2012.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

All orchid species are included under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

However, the following actions are recommended to protect Cypripedium fargesii:

- Species based management and conservation is essential to ensure to protect the remaining limited number of individuals.

- Knowledge of the optimal growth conditions is required. Such information may help to develop effective ways to restore the natural habitat of the species

- Initiate long term community based conservation to protect the habitat and species.

- Protection of the habitat, especially from collection, trampling and deforestation.

- Fencing the vulnerable sites.

- Management of habitat to reduce competition for resources (i.e., light, water, nutrients).

 - Sympathetic management of isolated populations.

- Monitoring programs are needed to track the status of existing populations with respect to ongoing management practices.

- Learning about the mycorrhizal relationships of this species with the goal of establishing successful protocols for symbiotic ex situ propagation and cultivation.

- Further research on the life cycle and ecology of the species.

- Land protection and habitat diffuse management can be implemented to conserve habitat near or between occurrences.

- Raise public awareness.

- Protection of the living individuals of the species through legislation and legal protection which ban the species not to be picked or dug up.

- Ex situ conservation: Artificial propagation, re-introduction, seed collections.

- Monitoring and surveillance of the existing populations and sites.

- Estimate the population size and study their dynamics. 

Citation: Rankou, H. 2014. Cypripedium fargesii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T46647A43315529. . Downloaded on 24 April 2018.
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